Beginners guide to Iceland- don’ts
Iceland is my home. I wasn’t born here, but I consider it my place now. This is where I live, work and have my family and friends. As a wedding photographer in Iceland, I would like my Clients to be the best tourists possible. Because I know you can do it – I am lucky enough to photograph the best people ever. No added sugars- really!
Some time ago I shared first part of beginners guide to Iceland. Will all the things you should do here. Now it’s time to say what is a coplete no-no.
Don’t go against the Icelandic Pledge
You can find The Icelandic Pledge here. Read it carefully and make it your bible for the whole stay in Iceland. You can even sign it online and then – there is no way back, you have to stick to it! If you follow it and respect it’s rules you’ll be better than fine!
Don’t feed and don’t pet the animals
Animals that you probably will meet onyour trip to Iceland are horses and sheeps. Remember, they are someone’s live stock and you whould never, ever feed them. Even with carrot. It’s ok to take picture of them, but touching the animals is also not the best idea – it makes it very hard to train them afterwards. Just imagine someone lifting your beloved dog or giving it some dog cookies (they are for dogs, what’s the problem, right?). Chances are you wouldn’t be the happiest person in the world. So don’t do the same to Icelanders.
Don’t put yourself in danger
If you do something stupid, such as climbing the cliffs, or walking on the Ice in Jökursarlon Glacier Lagoon, you really endanger your life. What’s more, you endanger life of other people too. Rescue teams are teams of people, ready to put their own life to save yours. Do you really want to put them in that position only beacuse you wanted to get a nice photo or to see what does it look like from above?
When there is a road sign saying not to take it – don’t take it. If there is a rope – don’t go past that rope. If there are warning signs – be super careful even if the place seems totally safe. All that was done for a reason – either to keep you or the nature safe. It’s not there to make tourist life miserable.
Don’t drive off-road
Seroiusly, don’t do it. It’s illegal to drive off-road in Iceland, full stop. By doing so you are destroying the nature for long years or even for ever! Besides, you will pay really big fines for breaking no off-roading rule, so I’m not sure if it’s the best way of remembering your trip to Iceland – workig overhours to pay your debt.
Remember- camping off the road is also considered driving off-road. You had to drive there to camp there, right? Respect the Icelandic nature – it’s the main reason you decided to visit this country, isn’t it?
If you really want to experience legal off-road driving in Iceland, you can always book the tour as a passenger of off-road Formula.
Don’t sleep outside the campings
All Iceland is owned by someone. It’s either private land or the property of the government. As such, it is illegal to camp outside of designated areas. Sometimes all it takes is just asking the owner of the land if you can stay for one or two nights nearby his farm. Sometimes you need to find a campsite. It’s for your own sake as well as to protect nature. Camping rules are simple and easy to follow. If you want to experience sleeping under the Icelandic stars, you can find your camping places using this website.
Don’t stop your car
I don’t mean ‘at all’ of course 🙂 Don’t stop in the middle of driving only because you saw northern lights or other beautiful view. Roads in Iceland usually don’t have enough space to pull over. So, if it’s not the beginning of some driveway or another road, don’t stop your car. It’s actually easy to tell if the place is good for stopping or not. If part of the car is still on the road, it means there is not enough space. You have to find another spot.